Wednesday, November 22, 2006

The Random Act of Kindness that Has Been My Life


That I had the incredible luck to be born into a country that has never known war or famine in my lifetime, a country insulated from the horrors of daily living endured by most of mankind. That I had the luck to be adopted into a comfortable middle-class family. The luck to go to school in safety, and not only graduate, but to be able to go past high school. The luck to meet a man who has been not only my great love, but my best friend, early in life, and to have lived almost my entire life with him in companionable equity, without fear of violence or enslavement or cruelty. To have had a child who is loving and forgiving and kind, and to have been able to raise her in safety, free of hardship and disease.

The luck that enables me to wake up every day without fear that I may be kidnapped, gang-raped, sold into slavery; to turn on a tap and get drinkable water, or turn on a stove and have cooking fire, instead of risking my life scrabbling for miles to find wood or a poisoned well. To take sanitation and sewerage for granted. To eat when I want. To be able to afford to live in a safe place. To be able to afford much more than this.

And thankful that I have the good sense to know that none of this has anything to do with my own deservingness as a human being, but rather the sheer random luck of the universe.

Because if we really got what we deserved, most of us would have a lot LESS, and for that reason alone we need to have "There but for the grace of God..." tattooed on each of our foreheads, and "Let he who is without sin..." on our chests---especially the Social Darwinists, Punishment-Heads, Christianist Dominionists, and Warmongers who have been trying so hard to transform my country into Afghanistan with advertising.

I'm thankful for things like forgiveness, and empathy, and inclusiveness, and love. And food. And drink. And for the internet, so I can share with you the menus created by Chef John Sharpe for his Native American Thanksgiving Feast.

Have a wonderful day.

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